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Annual IAS intake to go on at 180, inducting more will compromise quality — govt to Parliament

State-wise data tabled in Rajya Sabha Thursday says India facing a crunch of 1,472 IAS officers across states, which is close to 22 per cent of sanctioned strength.

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New Delhi: The government is unlikely to increase the annual intake of IAS officers, Jitendra Singh, Minister of State (MoS) for the Department of Personnel & Training (DoPT), told Parliament Thursday. 

Any number above 180 for the annual intake of IAS officers will “compromise quality” and “lead to a distortion” in the officers’ career path, Singh said, citing the recommendations of the Baswan committee report. 

In March, a parliamentary standing committee on personnel, public grievances, law and justice submitted its report recommending an increase in the intake of IAS officers. 

“In order to address the issue of shortage of IAS [officers] and to ensure optimal intake of directly recruited IAS officers, government has decided to annually recruit 180 IAS officers since 2012, on the basis of the recommendations of Baswan committee,” Singh said.

Formed in 2015, the B.S. Baswan committee — in its report submitted to the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) on 9 August 2016 — made several recommendations on different aspects of the UPSC Civil Services examination.

“The committee had also recommended that any number above 180 would compromise quality, exceed LBSNAA’s capacity and lead to distortion in the career pyramid of IAS officers, particularly for senior posts in the Government of India,” Singh added. 

LBSNAA or Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy Of Administration in Mussoorie is the institute where IAS officers undergo training before their first posting.

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Addressing the crunch 

According to state-wise data tabled in the Rajya Sabha Thursday, India is facing a crunch of 1,472 IAS officers across states, which is close to 22 per cent of the sanctioned strength. 

Bihar — with a crunch of 133 IAS officers against the sanctioned strength of 359 — has the highest number of vacant IAS positions among states.

Uttar Pradesh falls short of the sanctioned strength of 652 IAS officers by 92, while Madhya Pradesh is short of 84 officers against the sanctioned strength of 439, according to the data. West Bengal, meanwhile, ranks fourth — facing a crunch of 79 IAS officers against the sanctioned strength of 378.

Addressing the question of shortage of IAS officers, the government said it would “ensure optimal” intake annually, although not beyond 180. 

In June, results of the UPSC revealed that the government has been keeping the intake for IAS officers stable since 2013 at 180 officers each year. 

“Induction of officers by promotion and selection to IAS from state civil services is a continuous process. Based on the available year-wise vacancies in each cadre and on the proposals of the state governments concerned, recruitments are done as per the recommendations of selection committee meetings convened by UPSC,” Singh told Parliament Thursday.

In March, the government had announced the formation of a committee comprising former Department of Personnel & Training (DoPT) secretaries and other senior IAS officers, to deliberate on the crunch of IAS officers.

However, a senior IAS officer told ThePrint on condition of anonymity that the committee is yet to submit its report and that the thrust will be on central deputation for IAS officers. Officers and members of the DoPT committee reportedly felt that an increase in intake would not address the crunch in the bureaucracy.

(Edited by Amrtansh Arora)

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